What should I take?
The following list is intended as a general guide to what to take on your workshop/course. We don’t expect you to take everything – items in italics are regarded as essential and the others as desirable. This list is intended solely for guidance and as an equipment checklist. Some items are common sense whilst others are optional accessories and not mandatory
and it is ultimately for you to decide what to bring. Please don’t hesitate to contact the office by email if you have any further questions.
Remember, packing for every eventuality is not the answer either, in fact you’ll probably be too weighed down to move if you do! Less is often
more and if your camera bag contains lenses and accessories, which you seldom
use, your experience may be overwhelmed by the effort required to carry the
Windproof and waterproof jacket
Thermal base layer
Windproof trousers (do not bring jeans which will stay wet for a long time should the group get caught out in wet weather)
Snug fitting warm hat
Waterproof walking boots
The choice of photographic equipment is a personal matter and is based
on individual preferences; experience and brand loyalties and this checklist
should serve only as a guide. The courses are designed to allow use of any type of camera from a compact to large format.
Whether you are working digitally or with film, a workshop or tour will be
relevant to both mediums, however photographers working digitally are likely to
benefit more from the accelerated learning that the technology has enabled. The
ability to preview images in real time and have instant feedback and to
participate in evening critique sessions are some of the advantages of working
in a digital environment.
Cameras – one body or two? On a tour it makes sense to have some sort of backup
should your main camera fail. Your backup camera may be a film body where your
primary camera is digital.
Lenses – wide-angle, telephoto, macro? Depending on the tour and intended
subject matter, it’s good to have your bases covered by carrying a range of zoom
lenses such as a 24-70mm, 70-200mm and perhaps a 100mm Macro lens. These three lenses could cover the vast majority of photographic subjects encountered on a
tour and if wildlife photography were envisaged, something a bit longer between
300mm-500mm would be recommended.
In addition to your chosen camera and lenses we recommend you bring the following:
Camera rucksack – we recommend that you use a specially designed camera rucksack to obtain full protection for your equipment. A rucksack type is most desirable as
it distributes the weight between your
shoulders and hips and is designed for use in wild places. Some of these bags feature an
all weather cover giving protection against rain and snow, if your bag does not feature this we recommend that you purchase a separate waterproof rucksack cover appropriate for the size of your camera bag.
Tripod – not only useful for steadying the camera for long exposures or close-up work but also essential accurate framing and composition of landscape images.
Neutral density graduated filters and polariser
Cable release – mechanical or electronic remote to avoid shake on long exposures
Spot meter (recommended for accurate assessment of contrast range when using graduated filters)
Exposure meter – if you have a manual camera such as a Fuji GX617 or a view
camera, make sure to pack an exposure meter together with a spare battery.
Flash unit – a flash is invaluable for ‘fill-in’ of foreground shadow areas.
Camera and flash unit manual – these are a mine of information to allow you get full control of your equipment
Waterproof cover for your camera and lenses – this doesn’t have to be any more fancy than a plastic bag and some elastic bands
Sufficient memory cards for the whole tour and a suitable card storage facility
Backup storage device
Neutral density filters (particularly for digital users for achieving long exposures despite high native ISO but also useful for film users)
Laptop – not essential but helpful for backup storage and will
facilitate the ease with which the day’s images can critiqued and will allow
images to be processed and archived.
Spare batteries and chargers – rechargeable batteries can be ‘topped-up’ at our
accommodation, however it is recommended that photographers bring a spare camera
battery or an adequate supply of AA batteries for flashguns.
Sensor cleaning device
Sufficient film for the whole tour and safe storage of exposed and unexposed film